How I Got Myself to Go to the Gym
The Story of a 20-something Couch-potato
If you are reading this, you're probably expecting that I'm a fitness instructor that will give instructions on how to do yoga. FYI, I am not. I am barely a "young grasshopper" when it comes to this stuff. If anything I'm just grass waving in the wind (I certainly look like it in some yoga poses). But I would like to let you in on a little journey I've been having.
Almost anyone who knew me within the past ten years eventually figured out one way or another that I did not really exercise that much (life update: I do now!). I don't mind activities, I don't mind rollerblading, riding a bike, playing a sport, but I developed a concept about myself that said, "M doesn't work out." People laughed at it, I laughed at it, insert couch-potato jokes here, but it was just because I wanted a "thing," I was too lazy, and also, I didn't care. It annoyed me how everyone my age was doing yoga, "going to the gym," or doing Zumba (still not huge on the thought of moving around that much). I felt I had a thing, and that thing was to be as inactive as possible. Because that was my thing.
Then one day, I didn't want it to be my thing anymore.
I needed to exercise.
Please re-read the above. Exercise. Not just to lose weight, or whatever self-image we have of ourselves. I am encouraged when we go to the gym not under falsities that we are not enough unless we lose 10 lbs. Lies! Rather, it is going to exercise to burn and feel like you've accomplished something in your fitness that day. To get fit and active, vs. be sedentary and indolent. I feel confident before I walk in the gym, and after I walk out.
So here it is: long story short, our insurance gave me an opportunity to have a fitness card to use at several gyms for a flat rate of $25. Getting a little low-key excited about it, after doing some research I found a place that was even cheaper than that. So we canceled the fitness card. After signing up at that gym, I had been practicing to go to 2-3 classes a week and/or working out on my own. Two of those classes were the same, twice a week; the other was a yoga class. Don't get me wrong, I have taken gym classes before, but I can count on one hand how many. I just felt I reached a point after a cold winter and a stagnant spring to get my blood pumping again. So how did I get from point A (not caring) to point B (caring a lot)? Good question.
Amidst hearing friends talk about their exercise habits, I have an encouraging, dear husband who loves to work out. He loves it because it helps him "feel more energized," better, active, and like he practically accomplished something. When I complain of feeling tired or lazy often, he smiles and tells me he loves me. And then would lovingly suggest that I could work out to get some energy back. That it might help me feel better, just to exercise and get endorphins to help me feel more energized. I tried it, and he was right. After just one class on a Saturday morning, I was hooked.
Food for thought—it's important to take care of yourself, both physically, mentally, and emotionally. Sometimes even a positive day can pile up with activities and you just feel weighed down from normal life things. There was a point in time when our dog had been between two different hospitals for consultation, had a major surgery, and was in recovery time for a couple weeks. After off-and-on crying and trying to get her taken care of, I felt I needed to physically do an exercise to expel some leftover post-stress and even have a change of scenery. So I joined a yoga class one early afternoon while she was still in the vet hospital. The mere movement and stretching I did for sixty minutes left me feeling accomplished and happy.
Seeing the outward and inward changes in my life after just a couple weeks of it, I do not know why I didn't do it sooner. What was I waiting for? There are all kinds of people at my fitness studios (barre and cycling - see my article on cycling!) and I feel no pressure from anybody except positive encouragement.
So the short answer to all this is simply, I just tried it. And if I didn't like a particular type of workout, I eventually decided that it wasn't for me and that was okay. I just tried something else instead. My going to the gym inspired in me a desire to go more fit, and eventually I quit my membership to join two studios that tailored more to what I enjoyed rather than what my gym had to offer. It's a fitness journey. You get to decide where you want to go with it, and I enjoy and appreciate where my journey has led me just four months later.